The Day – Federal grand jury reviews State Pier and school projects
New London – A federal grand jury has issued a subpoena for documents involving Kostantinos “Kosta” Diamantis, the former public school construction project grant manager who was handpicked a year ago by Governor Ned Lamont to oversee the Connecticut Port Authority’s State Pier project.
The subpoena was issued on October 20, shortly before Diamantis was furloughed from his position as assistant secretary in the Bureau of Policing and Management during the investigation into the hiring of his daughter. Anastasia for a state position in the Criminal Justice Division.
Diamantis had served as both Deputy Secretary of the OPM and Director of the Office of Grants and School Construction Review and had been involved in the approval process for the $150 million school construction budget. New London dollars. He retired following his suspension.
The subpoena, obtained by The Day on Wednesday through a Freedom of Information Act request, reveals that the FBI requested all electronic communications from January 1, 2018, involving Diamantis and “(1) planning, l tendering, awarding and implementation (including the construction process) of school construction projects; (2) planning, tendering, awarding and implementation hazardous materials reduction projects, and (3) the Connecticut State Pier Infrastructure Improvement Project.
A grand jury subpoena is used by the federal government to gather evidence for an investigation. The object of the investigation remains unclear.
Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie first questions asked on October 1 about the hiring of Anastasia Diamantis by Chief State Attorney Richard Colangelo Jr., at the same time Colangelo was petitioning Anastasia’s father and other officials for increases for himself and the other prosecutors.
The report of a separate independent ethics investigation into Colangelo, Diamantis and her daughter, which the state released on Wednesday, said the three gave conflicting accounts to investigators that “questioned the integrity of the circumstances surrounding the hiring Anastasia”. Associated Press reported. Colangelo denied there was an improper motive, but the report states that “several[Criminal Justice]Division officials confirmed that they expressed concerns to Mr. Colangelo in June 2020 that the hiring of Anastasia by the Division had created at least an appearance of conflict”.
Former Connecticut U.S. Attorney Stanley A. Twardy Jr. has been tasked by the governor’s office with investigating whether Colangelo’s hiring of Anastasia violated state ethics rules, the Connecticut Mirror reported Wednesdaybut neither his investigation nor his report covered construction projects investigated by the FBI.
At the time Anatasia Diamantis was hired by Colangelo, she had a second job with Construction Advocacy Professionals, a school construction management company, the CT Mirror first reported Dec. 3. This position was not on his resume but was referenced in the emails. she wrote which were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the Mirror reported.
Colangelo had told the Mirror in an interview that he was aware of Anastasia’s outside employment, but he and Anastasia gave conflicting accounts to Twardy as to whether she disclosed it. When asked if he was aware of allegations by a ‘former CAP employee that Anastasia was a ‘ghost employee’ of CAP to bribe Mr. Diamantis when he was then deputy secretary of the OPM , Mr. Colangelo stated that he had no knowledge of these allegations at the time,” Twardy wrote. “He stated that if he had been aware of these allegations at the time, he would could have followed up with Anastasia regarding her then-concurrent part-time job with CAP.”
Colangelo’s office said it was reviewing the report before commenting, the Mirror and other news sites reported.
In a follow-up request to the Department of State Administrative Services, documents show that federal authorities requested on October 28 that the DAS prioritize keywords in its search for responsive documents. These keywords did not include State Pier or Connecticut Port Authority. They included: Anastasia, Daughter, Antonietta, DiBenedetto-Roy, DiBenedetto, Roy, “Construction Advocacy Professionals” or “CAP” (all caps), Capyourbudget.com, FBI, Gift, Wedding, Guiliano, Ouellette and other names .
With Diamantis gone, the Connecticut Port Authority in December introduced Noel Petra, assistant commissioner of the state’s Department of Administrative Services, as the person to oversee the State Pier project.
In October 2019, the authority entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of Policy and Management and the Department of Administrative Services for management and support services related to project construction and procurement activities.